Food Costs Soar but Healthy Eating still Affordable

Melbourne, Australia – 20 February 2009 – Healthy food is still affordable for the average family, despite the cost of food skyrocketing by 20 per cent since 2000, according to new research.

The survey, in Nutrition & Dietetics published by Wiley-Blackwell, found rising food costs have been matched by increasing average incomes and welfare payments – making the affordability of healthy food about the same as it was in 2000.

Researchers compared the results of the Illawarra Healthy Food Basket survey between 2000 and 2007 to monitor the affordability of healthy eating over time.

According to the survey, vegetables and fruit increased in price the most – by 56 per cent and 47 per cent, respectively. But the cost of bread, cereals and dairy foods stayed the same or even dropped over the seven-year period.

“It’s concerning that fruit and vegetable prices have gone up the most. Our study shows this rise has been offset by other prices coming down and by the increase in people’s income. So putting healthy food on the table is still possible even in this day and age,” said study co-author and Accredited Practising Dietitian Dr Peter Williams.

“Now more than ever, the Government needs to focus its policies on reducing the cost of healthy food like fruit and vegetables. All Australians should be able to access healthy foods at a reasonable price,” said Claire Hewat, Executive Director of the Dietitians Association of Australia.

“With warnings that climate change will put upward pressure on food prices, we’re encouraging Australians to prepare more homemade meals from basic food items, like fruit and vegetables. And this survey shows that it’s cheaper to buy fresh foods from the supermarket than to eat out,” Ms. Hewat added.

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This paper is published in February 2009, Nutrition & Dietetics (Vol. 66, Issue 1).
The article is available free online http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/118523059/home
Media wishing to receive a PDF or schedule media interviews with the authors should contact Alina Boey, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications at aboey@wiley.com or phone +65-96565580.

About Nutrition & Dietetics
Nutrition & Dietetics is Australia and New Zealand's leading peer-reviewed journal in its field. Covering all aspects of food, nutrition and dietetics, the Journal provides a forum for the reporting, discussion and development of scientifically credible knowledge related to human nutrition and dietetics.

Widely respected in Australia and around the world, Nutrition & Dietetics publishes original research, methodology analyses, commentaries and viewpoints, research reviews, book reviews and much more. The Journal aims to keep health professionals abreast of current knowledge on human nutrition and diet, and accepts contributions from around the world.

About Wiley-Blackwell
Wiley-Blackwell was formed in February 2007 as a result of the acquisition of Blackwell Publishing Ltd. by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., and its merger with Wiley’s Scientific, Technical, and Medical business. Together, the companies have created a global publishing business with deep strength in every major academic and professional field. Wiley-Blackwell publishes approximately 1,400 scholarly peer-reviewed journals and an extensive collection of books with global appeal. For more information on Wiley-Blackwell, please visit www.wiley.com/wiley-blackwell or http://interscience.wiley.com.

About Wiley
Founded in 1807, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. has been a valued source of information and understanding for 200 years, helping people around the world meet their needs and fulfill their aspirations. Since 1901, Wiley and its acquired companies have published the works of more than 350 Nobel laureates in all categories: Literature, Economics, Physiology/Medicine, Chemistry and Peace.
Our core businesses include scientific, technical, medical and scholarly journals, encyclopedias, books, and online products and services; professional/trade publishes books, subscription products, training materials, and online applications and websites; and educational materials for undergraduate and graduate students and lifelong learners. Wiley's global headquarters are located in Hoboken, New Jersey, with operations in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Canada, and Australia. The Company’s Web site can be accessed at http://www.wiley.com. The Company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbols JWa and JWb.

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